Parents fear the psychological and mental costs of online learning

Study shows that “students who thought they mattered the least were those who learned full-time online”

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Some of the parents who have decided to boycott e-learning are concerned about the long-term impacts on their children.


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“I’m not logging in – and it’s already relieved a layer of stress for our family,” said Lisa Baetz, who joined six Hamilton families on Wednesday in a protest with their children against online learning.

“The prejudice for children of being out of school compared to those who are there is so much greater. So we have to get them back. But I don’t think for a second that we’ll be back.

Shannon Duran is also taking her two children – in grades 3 and 6 – away from online learning this time around.

“What I saw my kids do online was nothing like home schooling through the board like my mom did with us,” said Duran. “It was just tragic and that’s how I felt; it was as if their minds were dying.

Duran is quick to point out that his children have had amazing teachers during the various waves of disruption.


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But she wonders about the prolonged lack of in-person socialization.

A study last fall in the Psychoeducational Assessment Journal found that “the students who thought they mattered the least were the ones who learned full-time online during the pandemic (elementary and secondary students)”.

Their study involved 6,578 Canadian students in grades 4 to 12.

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Researchers at the University of Ottawa examined student perceptions of the importance during the pandemic of in-person learning versus online learning.

“We found that elementary students who attended school in person reported being the most important, followed by high school students who learned part-time in person and the rest of the time online,” the authors wrote.


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Ontario’s latest education plan calls for students to learn remotely until at least Jan. 17.

The plan beyond is still unknown.

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“It is important to know how online and digital education affects elementary and secondary school students, as online learning is likely to be retained to some extent after the pandemic,” concluded the authors of the school study.

Many parents say they are done with it online.

“The impact on the mental health of children and families – it’s taking its toll and we have to come back for these kids. These children need it; they deserve it, ”Baetz said.

“I can’t believe we’re in our 23 e month and fourth closure of schools.



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